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Microsoft Flight Simulator News

Microsoft Flight Simulator December 5th Update Now Live

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The December 5th Update from the team over at Microsoft is a brief one. There have been no new additions to the Development Roadmap that was released in the November 21st Update. An update to the tech Alpha 2 Timeline was added along with a teaser of an update on the upcoming Partnership Series.

At the top of the update a quote from a Reddit user, “Hopefully that helps us in getting our voices heard more.” The team at Microsoft responded by saying, “We hear you” it’s promising to see the team on the internet reading forums and taking what the community is saying seriously. An update to the Tech Alpha 2 Timeline was also released. Microsoft is inching closer to completing recruitment for Tech Alpha 2, if you are interest sign up as soon as possible! No cutoff date was given so best to sign up now rather than later, you can sign up for Tech Alpha 2 here.

Microsoft dropped a hint regarding their newest series to the updates, their Partnership Announcement Series. Their Partnership Announcement Series is where we can see the beginning of talks with third-party developers.  Below is the picture they included with their post about this new series, seen is the floor of CubCrafters. CubCrafters was started by Jim Richmond in 1980 and, as the name suggests, CubCrafters rebuilds Super Cubs.

To wrap up the post, Microsoft gave a shutout to a mod for Reddit.com/R/FlightSim Mod, Shaka04. The team at Microsoft Flight Simulator thanking a mod on Reddit shows how active they are in the community, reading what people are saying and understanding what we as a community want as a whole. It is great to see a developer putting in the effort to not only read but understand what the community is saying.

That is all the news from the latest Microsoft Flight Simulator update. The next update will be released next Thursday, December 12th. If you haven’t seen the latest Flight Simulator Feature Discovery Episode be sure to check it out here! These are exciting times in the flight sim world, stay tuned to FSElite for all the latest flight sim news!

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Microsoft Feature Discovery Episode Four: Cockpits

Microsoft has released its latest Feature Discover Series update and this time it focused on the cockpit and the visuals, sounds and camera movements that come with it.

Hosted by Martial Bossard, Lead Software Engineer at Asobo, the video shows off beautiful visuals in some of the cockpits that we can look forward to. Brossard highlights features including highly detailed analog gauges, high fidelity instruments and new data simulation models.

The simulator will also feature a new rendering engine that will display both 2D data or synthetic vision 3D data. This will include simulated interactive touchscreens in all of the glass cockpits. Bossard also confirmed that navigation data will include SIDs and STARs.

The video showed off some of the fantastic lighting that will be featured in the sim, with Bossard noting that the lighting will mimic real-world lighting and react based on the surrounding environment – as it would in an actual airplane.

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Microsoft Flight Simulator Feature Discovery Series Episode 3: Aerodynamics

As part of Microsoft’s continued deployment of information via their social channels and blog, the team has released the third episode in their Feature Discovery series. This time, CEO of Asobo Studios, Sebastian Wloch, talks in-depth about the aerodynamics of the new simulator.

The 12-minute video, which features fresh, never before seen footage, goes into a lot of details about how the team made decisions on what to update from the flight model, how some previous legacy code remains and also how the environment impacts the air around the aircraft. There are plenty of visual demonstrations in the video including icing effects, how landing gear impacts the airflow and also even how buildings alter the aircraft’s trajectory.

This is Courchevel. The default airport used during the X019 landing challenge.

Further to the video posted above, Insiders on the FlightSimulator blog also got to see what December and January 2020 will bring in terms of updates via the Development Roadmap. In December, we will see additional media shared, along with a timeline for tech alpha 2 applications. Beyond that, we’re going to start seeing the Partnership Announcement Series, which will hopefully start to see talk of third-party developers. Following on from that, we’re going to see plenty of other updates, that should really kick off the new year with lots of exciting new information.

Come back next Thursday for the 4th episode from the Feature Discovery Series which focuses on the Cockpits.

Check out our 4K 60FPS footage direct from X019 last week, or read our hands-on impressions from our trip to Seattle earlier this year.

 

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PILOT’S Announces Development of de Havilland Canada DHC-7

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In a surprise announcement, developers PILOT’S has today confirmed to FSElite that they are working on a brand new aircraft. The de Havilland Canada DHC-7 is unique and offers unmatched
performance for an aircraft its size, allowing it to operate in and out of airports with very short runways. This is a perfect aircraft to pair with the recently released PILOT’S Tioman Island scenery.

The Dash 7 features four turboprop engines and a high-wing design, both of which allow the aircraft to operate as a regional airliner with short take-off and landing (STOL) capability. The Dash 7 had its maiden flight in 1975 and was produced as a passenger and passenger/cargo variant up until 1988. Currently, around 100 Dash 7 aircraft remain in operation worldwide, and PILOT’S will soon allow virtual pilots to fly this aircraft too. All releases will feature full PBR and include two liveries (Tyrolean Airways/Berjaya Air) along with a paint kit.

The Dash 7 by PILOT’S is due to come to a variety of platforms including Prepar3D V4 and X-Plane 11. The team also confirmed that upon the release an SDK from Microsoft, the team will convert the aircraft to the new Flight Simulator. The team say that those who purchase the P3Dv4 version will have their money credited to them for the MSFS release (in a similar fashion to PMDG’s recent NGXu/NG3)

In regards to the Prepar3D V4 version, the team said that there will be two releases. The Initial release will be made available for P3DV4 and is due for an estimated release of Q1 2020. This package will feature the Dash 7 with standard instruments for the “casual simmer” at a “competitve price.” After thatm in Q2 2020, a professional version will be released with “fully authentic cockpit along with customized instruments.” Users who wish to upgrade can do so via an upgrade fee. As for the X-Plane 11 version, it is due for a release in Q2 2020 and an aircraft partner will convert the aircraft to the simulator.

 

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Microsoft Flight Simulator – 747-8 Included & New Trailer

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Microsoft today held their first day of X019 in London, UK, and the Microsoft Flight Simulator team were there showcasing the simulator for the first time to members of the public. FSElite is on the ground at X019 gathering information from the developers and the simulator.

An all-new trailer was also shared for the new simulator, which confirms that jets will be included in the base simulator upon release. It is also the first time we have seen the Boeing 747-8 included. The trailer also shared a range of shots with new views. The Airbus A320 neo the Icon A5 and much more was shown off. You can watch the trailer about 55 minutes into their X019 event (it started at 20:00z).

Update: Here’s the trailer itself:

When speaking to the team, they also confirmed that they are working with aircraft manufacturers including Boeing, Airbus and many more. This is just the start of companies they’re working with and plan to continue adding to their portfolio.

For those who were invited to the Tech Alpha test 1, it will be released as soon as possible. Microsoft is working on some formalities and once it’s ready, it will be shared. They have asked that those who are going to help test provides continuous feedback to help shape the future of the simulator.

Whilst also at X019, we can confirm that the Honeycomb Alpha Flight Control Yoke is going to be compatible with the new sim.

We are currently working on editing some brand new content for you all, so be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to get fresh interviews and all-new footage.

More news as it comes from FSElite.

FSElite @ X019 is made possible thanks to Orbx.

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PMDG Clarifies NG3 Pricing And NGXu Policy

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After the unexpected release of the 737 PMDG NGXu for Prepar3D v4 and the announcement that the upcoming PMDG 737 NG3 would be available only on Microsoft Flight Simulator, PMDG Robert Randazzo explained in a forum post the pricing policy regarding both add-ons.

After the also surprising announcement of Microsoft Flight Simulator during the 2019 E3, PMDG silently decided to shift the development of the NG3 to the promising new platform. Randazzo explains that Prepar3D v4 and MSFS are “two very very different animals, with very very different capabilities.” The NGXu was decided for release on Prepr3D v4 as a “generational replacement to the 8.5 year old NGX.”. Both products being based on the same core, PMDG decided to give a discount on the NG3 of the amount of the price of the NGXu for those who decide to get the NGXu before 31DEC19

In other words, the NGXu for Prepar3D v4 is available right now for $99.99 USD. Buyers of the NGXu before 31DEC19 will receive a $99.99 USD rebate on their purchase of the NG3 once it is released. Randazzo further explained that the anticipated market price of the NG3 will be $139.99 USD.

Customers who buy the NGXu before year end will be able to purchase the NG3 for an additional fee of $40.00 USD, and will own both products.

Quoting PMDG : “Discount will be awarded automatically to NGXu purchases made and redeemed only at www.pmdg.com only, at time of checkout during purchase of NG3 for MSFS.”

Randazzo also hinted that the NG3 would be released within a year. It will of course depend on the availability of MSFS.

The PMDG NGXu Base Package is available on PMDG website for $99.99 USD.

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Vidan Design Announces Copenhagen Airport

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Scenery developer Vidan Design has announced that they are working on an all-new Copenhagen Airport for FSX, P3D and hopefully the upcoming Microsoft Flight Simulator. Vidan Design has just returned from a “fantastic” photoshoot where the team had unrestricted access to the airport for photography.

The Facebook post from the developer acknowledges that there has been previous Copenhagen Airports developed in the past from other developers, but they added that “Denmark’s largest airport has a natural place in the portfolio of a Danish developer focused on Danish airport sceneries.”

No further details were shared, but we’ll let you know if there are any developments for the new Copenhagen Airport from Vidan Design.

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PILOT’S Releases Tioman Island and Airport (WMBT) for P3Dv4

Scenery developer PILOT’S has released their long-awaited Tioman Island and Airport for Prepar3D V4. The island and airport was first announced by us in our Magazine (Issue #1) back in June and it is now finally available to purchase via the PILOT’S store.

According to the press release, Tioman Island has ranked as one of the most dangerous approaches in the world by Forbes and the History Channel thanks to its “Checkerboard” approach. The island’s only approach offers a very unique and dangerous route, but one that is also rewarding and visually pleasing.

PILOT’S has worked to ensure that the airport looks stunning in the simulator with high-resolution mesh, hundreds of hand-placed trees, lush vegetation and much more. The beach resorts have been included, along with a variety of harbours, boats and other tropical delights to explore and find.

Excitingly, if you buy Tioman Island from the PILOT’S store before January 30th 2020 (23:59z), you will qualify for a free upgrade to the Microsoft Flight Simulator version, which is due for a release in 2020.

You can buy Tioman Island from PILOT’S right now for €28.99.

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Update from PMDG Regarding Future Plans

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On the PMDG forums Robert Randazzo posted an update on all current PMDG projects and where the company is headed in the future. This was a huge update to say the least, all development on X-Plane and FSX has stopped, and with the announcement of the NG3 being an MSFS exclusive, it appears this could be the case for P3Dv4 as well. Current products like the 747, 777, and DC-6 are planned to be ported over to the new Microsoft Flight Simulator. PMDG will release more information on this topic at a later date.

In short, Randazzo explained that developing for multiple platforms has caused a slowdown in productivity. This slowdown has greatly reduced the number of titles that can be brought to the community. Over the next 5 years, PMDG’s goal is to simplify the development process, this will allow products to be released sooner and give the team more time for innovation with current products.

As previously announced, PMDG will no longer develop products or updates for FSX, FSX Steam Edition, or Prepar3D v3. Within the next 6 months, PMDG will be evaluating the End-of-life process for those simulators. Support will continue for these products for long into the future and they will still be accessible for download within your purchase history on the PMDG website.

After spending copious amounts of time monitoring market metrics within X-Plane, PMDG has decided to also drop all development for X-Plane. The decision comes from the team attempting to streamline all products going forward. PMDG will no longer be evaluating X-Plane at any point within the next 5 years, nor does the team see any active X-Plane development time being allocated.

Perhaps the biggest news in this update is the PMDG NG3 being dropped from all development in Prepar3D v4, the product line is being realigned and will be released for Microsoft Flight Simulator. The PMDG 737NG3 will be released as a MSFS-only product. PMDG mentions that by only releasing the NG3 for Microsoft Flight Simulator will bring forth the very best the new simulator has to offer. It will also help buy not hindering the team with external compatibility concerns. Similar to existing product lines, the NG3 will include the entire NG and MAX product lines in a mix of base and expansion packages. Randazzo also explained that pricing will be similar to existing product lines. There will be an update in the future containing a development and release timeline for the NG3 and more.

Lastly, an update on the PMDG Global Flight Operations Center was mentioned. The Global Flight Operations Center is ready to be moved to a more active testing environment with the help of a select few beta testers. Development to date has simply been on the framework, data interchange, and the protocol necessary to support the Global Flight Operations Center environment. There will be a large testing regime that will be open to the public but no details have been posted yet. The roll out will include basic key features, more complex and advanced features will be added as the product matures. More updates for the PMDG Global Flight Operations Center will be released soon.

 

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Microsoft Flight Simulator – October 31st Update Now Live

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This update is mainly a reminder of information we’ve seen before as the team prepare for “many exciting deliverables” they are planning for November. The brief update on the official Microsoft Flight Simulator highlights the Tech Alpha Build Program, the Feature Discovery Series and a reminder that there are several social channels for people to follow to stay updated.

The current Tech Alpha recruitment phase closed a few weeks ago, however, it’s been confirmed that the second tech alpha phase will open on November 7th. Those who registered for the first Tech Alpha program will automatically be added to this one. Right now, the team are targeting a mid-November timeframe to inform people for the Tech Alpha 2 release/availability.

Moving on from the Tech Alpha information, the team wanted to extend a “heartfelt thank you” to the community for their feedback from the previous Feature Discovery Series episodes. Episode 3 is still on track of a Mid-November release, with episode 4 releasing at the end of November. The dates should be made available in next week’s update.

Finally, a few links to a variety of social media platforms were shared. They are down below.

At the time of writing, no Insider specific details were shared. However, if you need to get your fix of Microsoft Flight Simulator this week, be sure to watch our 4K footage montage from September, or re-read our Hands-On from the preview event in Seattle.

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